Single-chip microcontrollers for switchgear control Conference Paper uri icon


  • In the development of larger and longer duration space flight systems, which also have higher power delivery requirements, the advancement of power control and protection mechanisms is required. This issue has been an area of great research interest for NASA and many commercial companies for several years. In this area of interest several systems and testbeds have been investigated to explore power system configurations and their automation. These studies generally all chose schemes involving the distribution of the control and protection mechanisms to the lowest levels (closest to the loads) that seemed practical. The many advances in computer technology are enhancing the systems being designed for power system automation by allowing more and more computing power to be distributed closer to the loads. Microcontrollers should prove to be very powerful tools in the distribution of automatic decision components in the automation system. Some of these microcontrollers include peripherals such as programmable timers, serial communication ports, A/D converters, memory, and the CPU all on a single chip. In addition to the multiple features in a single package, some microcontrollers have been implemented to allow for special power conserving modes of operation. In this paper a switchgear controller utilizing a microcontroller is described. The implementation of this decision system for data gathering, command control, fault detection, and circuit protection, when compared to other implementations, provides more functions and better response while reducing weight, volume, and power consumption.

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Watson, K., Russell, B. D., & Jagadish, U.

complete list of authors

  • Watson, K||Russell, BD||Jagadish, U

publication date

  • January 1991